Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund is wagering that institutional investors will soon make a splash in cryptoassets.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm has made an early-stage investment in Tagomi, a startup that aims to serve as a broker-dealer for family offices, wealthy individuals, and other institutional investors.
The startup — whose operations remain in such an early phase that not even its name is set in stone — was co-founded by Greg Tusar, a former Goldman Sachs executive who ran the firm’s electronic trading division.
Tagomi has reportedly raised $15.5 million, and it is unknown how much of that backing comes from Founders Fund. However, Napoleon Ta, a Founders Fund partner, is listed as one of the company’s directors in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
The firm intends to capitalize on the fragmentation of the cryptocurrency spot market by building trading tools that automatically rout large orders through a dozen exchanges as well as over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms called dark pools.
This is not the first time that Founders Fund has invested in the nascent cryptoasset industry.
Earlier this year, the firm, which has approximately $3 billion under management, acknowledged that it had invested directly in bitcoin but did not provide details. According to reports, it had accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.
Thiel, who also co-founded PayPal, is an outspoken libertarian and an ardent believer in bitcoin’s potential to become “digital gold.”
“I would be long bitcoin, and neutral to skeptical of just about everything else at this point with a few possible exceptions. There will be one online equivalent to gold, and the one you’d bet on would be the biggest,” Thiel said in March in an interview hosted by the Economic Club of New York
In addition to its direct investments in bitcoin, Founders Fund has dabbled in the industry indirectly by backing cryptocurrency hedge funds Polychain Capital and Metastable Capital. The firm has also invested in Harbor, a platform that allows users to tokenize real-world assets while remaining in compliance with securities regulations.
Featured image from Flickr/Heisenberg Media